Posts Tagged ‘Tuna Salad Plate’

The Best Life Can Offer: Served on a Simple Paper Plate

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

When the weather is hot outside, and even hotter inside, who in the heck wants to even think about melting over a hot stove?

When I was a little girl and the weather was hot hazy n’ humid, my Mom would make her way out to the garden and pick, rather than cook, our supper. Topped with a can of chilled tuna salad, our dinner plate was complete. The perfect ending to steamy hot summer day.

Seasonal herbs and vegetables can be the fantastic starting ground for a gluten and allergen free meal. Top these seasonal gems with a can of quick and easy tuna (or canned chicken or beans, if seafood allergies are a concern) and you have a no-cook supper that is full of protein, fiber, nutrition and healthy ingredients.

I find it amazing how “my” fond childhood memories of a cold tuna salad plate on a hot and steamy summer night are also shared by so many other people. And for us all, even in our adult lives, cold tuna salad plates are triggers of happy summer food memories alongside the all-time classic favorites such as popsicles, s’mores, hotdogs and lemonade.

And because of these happy memories this tradition thankfully carries on for many of us today.

Many associate the smell, warmth and complexity of meal preparation as the components of their most comforting food memories; however, the ease and utilitarian nature of effortlessly whipping together this summertime dish make this meal one of my most favorite food memories. A sweet memory that’s so simply unique and dependent on the current pantry stock, and what’s ripe in the garden, each of these meal becomes even more mystifying because it could never exactly be duplicated again.

I’ve decided that my childhood memories of these cold salad plates are the result of the perfect storm: Hot, sticky New England weather with thunder clouds threatening in the distance; ripe vegetables hand-plucked from the garden; canned tuna, chicken or beans dug out from the back of the pantry, and three hungry pony-tailed little girls eating a simple supper from paper plates that will become a meal engraved in their memories forever.

Simple, no-frill, practical meals and memories are the ones you somehow hold closest to your heart; the ones that can never be duplicated again. A once in a lifetime event.

Funny how life sometimes whips-up the best it can offer on a simple paper plate.

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